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Friday, May 1, 2009

I Am Part of a Living Dream

All around me, the environment looks different from my familiar turf. I am a stranger in a very strange land. I read signposts I have never seen before, and they tell me of places I have never been. I see buildings, streets, and cars I cannot recognize among scores of transient people who return my probing stares with cold eyes and frowns of disgust. No friends live here. I am an interloper, and I don't even know how long I have been lost. Determined to find my way, I walk on, and I think to myself, "I can manage if I just get my bearings or spot an old landmark." I am tired and I long to rest, yet I realize I would feel most uncomfortable to remain in this unfriendly place for any period of time. As far as I can look, I spot nothing but unrecognizable images. "This all used to look so different," I mumble to no one. But, I am not sure whether the landscape or my conception of it has altered. I consider my options and discover none exist. I resign myself to the fact that I have to keep moving straight ahead. To turn around now would only put me further from what seems to be an inescapable outcome. Besides, moving forward gives me a little confidence in my eventual arrival at a new destination. I can't remember where the first steps of this journey began, so retracing my steps seems fruitless. As I trudge along like a battle-worn soldier dutifully making his way back to the front, I look straight down at the cold, gray sidewalk. I think about the happy days in my past, and I find myself amid smiles and breezes and kisses. For a moment, I feel relief, then I look ahead only to return to the unknown. As I confirm the reality of my situation, I feel desperately alone. I have become a part of a living dream. You wish to sweep me away And toss me into the grimy dumpster In your filthy back alley, To remove me from your fair town Like a surgeon removes a cancerous growth, All the while praying I will never return. You do not realize I am trying to understand, Trying to awake to a familiar world That you would allow me to inhabit. A world that speaks of "please" and "thank you" A world that stills feels a caress or a helping hand. Nameless, I move quickly through your recognition every day. I am lost in this dream by some terrible creation That you prefer to ignore or to criticize As something too distasteful to even imagine. But in my world, you are the soul out of place The beggar who needs treatment or isolation. In truth, I fear you as much as you fear me. I have become a part of a living dream.
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